10 Important Signs Your Job Might Be Worth Staying At

By Sarah Winfrey on 1 May 2007 (Updated 7 November 2012) 14 comments
Photo: MDGovpics

So you don't have your dream job, and you're pretty sure you never will in your current corporation, but you're also not sure where else to go? You'd love to work at home but you're not sure where to start or if it's something you'd enjoy more than your current job? Love your boss and your coworkers, but not sure you want to stay? Here are 10 signs that your current job might be worth staying at, at least until you have your dream job in the bag. (See also: How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions)

1. Your Boss Wants to Use You to Your Fullest Potential

If it matters to your boss when you are under-utilized, that indicates that he values you as a person and not just as an employee. Which, in turn, means that he cares about your overall well-being at work, and not just your performance. Bosses like this are often more open to things like letting you telecommute, minimize your hours, or tweak your job and procedures in it so your work conditions are as good as possible.

2. Your Boss Listens to Your Suggestions

A boss who truly listens is a boss you can communicate honestly with. If you're looking at starting to work at home, this sort of boss would be more likely to let you try it. Also, having a real "say" in what happens at work will give you a lift — it might not be what you truly care about, but at least you are a person whose opinion matters.

3. You Have Real Responsibility for Things That Matter in Your Workplace

Giving you autonomous responsibility says that your boss trusts you and that you are trustworthy. Clearly, you are a valued employee.

4. You Have a Good (Working) Relationship With Your Coworkers

Bad coworkers make for a miserable work environment, and good coworkers are hard to find. If you're at a job where you like working with the people around you, you're in quite a good place. From that good place, you can take your time making decisions about the future.

5. You Can Bring Questions and Concerns to Your Coworkers and Boss

This is similar to the others. You're respect, valued, and trustworth. Yada yada.

6. Your Boss Recognizes Strengths in You That Don't Strictly Pertain to Your Job

I work in a mostly administrative capacity right now, but my boss calls me in to many of the interviews he does when he hires for the department. Why? Because he knows that I'm intuitive and insightful when it comes to people. I'm good at telling him if someone will work well with the rest of us. I also ask good questions that draw people out in ways he wouldn't think of. While I don't love administrative work, I stay because I know I'm valued as more than a good administrator.

7. Your Boss and Company Don't Micromanage Your Time

Again with the trustworthiness. This also indicates that your boss respects you and the decisions you make.

8. Your Boss and Company Aren't Constantly Looking Over Your Shoulder

They respect you enough as a person with a life outside of the job to realize that, sometimes, you have to make a personal call on the job. Or sometimes you're done with your work or taking a break and checking out that fun new online game or coding your own page. They know you'll get the job done, and so don't keep on you to always work on "work stuff" at work.

9. Your Boss Trusts You to Make Decisions and Work With Him to Implement Them

Clearly, an employer who trusts you is one to consider staying with if you're not sure what else is out there, or until you are sure.

10. You Get to Do New Things as You Demonstrate Your Commitment and Show Yourself Capable

You are a person with growing and developing strengths and ideas. In a situation like this, it just might be possible (depending on what you ultimately want to do) to turn a job you don't really like into one you do. You might not have to go solo to fulfill your dreams, but be able to pursue them in the environment you're already it. It's at least worth looking that.

Two important characteristics of a good work environment are supervisors who trust their workers and who see them as more than machines to fulfill a task. If you have these things in your workplace, it might be a place worth staying even if your actual job isn't everything you've dreamed of and more.

Before the comments erupt, I'd like to point out that I'm not saying that these things mean you should stay at your job, but that their presence indicates a quality work environment that you may not find elsewhere. If you're not sure what you want to do or what other things will work with your time and personality, staying in a job with these characteristics gives you an environment where you can both develop good workplace skills while examining your options. While some smart people might disagree with me, I say that there are worse things in life than having a decent job with a good work environment.

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Guest's picture
Bill

Considering that we spend most of our day that isn't sleeping at work, the importance of a positive and healthy work environment can't be over emphasized. Money isn't everything.

Guest's picture
Kelvin

This is spot on!! and I'm glad to say I have a boss like that.

Guest's picture
Guest

It's hard to take an article seriously when the title end in "at." I know it's more acceptable now but it sounds terrible.

Guest's picture
Guest

What if your job is all that, but there's no room for advancement and minimal pay because it's a small business?

Guest's picture
Guest

The above commenter is both snarky and incorrect.

Most reputable sources (including The Chicago Manual of Style, perhaps the most authoritative style guide available) agree that the "rule" about not ending a sentence in a preposition is long outdated and was, in fact, never meant to be a hard-and-fast rule in the first place. It is essentially a grammatical urban legend based on an essay by John Dryden.

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/CMS_FAQ/Prepositions/Prepositions04....

(By the way, great article!)

Guest's picture

Reading this reminds me of how glad i am that i do not work where i used to. My past boss was the exact OPPOSITE of the boss you describe here.

Guest's picture
Guest

I am hating my job of late and it does not offer even ONE of your points! Time to go!

Guest's picture
Bettsi

Great thinking points. This article has helped me get a little more perspective.

Guest's picture
Guest

My Boss is the exact opposite of everything described here. I have also been relocated to China, so it's difficult to interview for a new job. oh well...

Guest's picture
butterfly

Totally agree with the points you make, and happily all of them apply to my current work suitation. I have just been offered a promotion within my job and although there are aspects which are new to me, my boss is happy to train me, which makes me feel valued and more commited to the job.

Guest's picture
Guest

Ah ha ha ha ha! Not even one of those things is true about my current job. And there is slim to no chance of my position/responsibilities changing--i.e. no upward mobility since it's such a small company. Oh well. Wish there were more opportunities in my area that didn't involve a huge pay cut (wages are already tough to live on here since rents are so high).

Guest's picture
Lynn

Just like nine out of the ten reasons I should leave my job were true when that article was posted, every last one of these is false. I get so micromanaged that a few hours ago I was criticized for how I hold my stapler, and when I lean forward to get paper out of the printer and my chair squeaks, I'm told I'd better not be thinking of going anywhere, because it's not lunch time yet. I spend 100% of my time feeling belittled and on edge, constantly on the verge of tears, and I see no improvement in sight.

But I'm stuck, and that's that.

Guest's picture
anon

I'll trade you...getting fired would be the best thing that could happen to me these days. Toxic director, new regional manager both putting tremendous pressure on my immediate supervisor who in turn is micromanaging every move I make and "retraining" me to do a high-school grad type job. The writing is on the wall...I'm on borrowed time (and don't care a bit)

Guest's picture
MR

7 of the 10 signs apply to my position , let said that almost everything is good in the company ... their is a big BUT for me ..the payment is really bad.. ( im a international sales person , with a degree on international bussiness and I get pay commission only or minium wage in some cases ).... what would you do ?